Pride in Surrey announced on February 1st that the defense company with a controversial reputation that is often under fire for its global arms trade policy is to be the leading sponsor of the LGBT Pride events in the city this summer. A spokesperson for Pride in Surrey acknowledged the decision would be “controversial,” but added that if BAE Systems company wants to challenge the stereotypes and to fight for the world being more diverse, then it is really great! The Pride organizer Stephen Ireland praised the company for “engaging very early on and demonstrating they wish to make a step change in diversity and inclusion.” Theresa Palmer of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence added on behalf of the company that they are extremely proud and honored to support the Pride as diverse and inclusive environment has always been their top priority in their attitude towards their own employees. “We acknowledge that we are a large, global presence but what many people may not know is that the Applied Intelligence division is headquartered right here in Surrey. That makes this particular event even more personal for us as it represents our neighbors and as a local employer we want to make clear to our community that they have a welcoming, supportive business on their doorstep,“ she added.